Hotel Marketing Podcast Episode 214 – Why Hotels Need A Great Creative Strategy
This show is all about helping hoteliers grow their direct booking channels and maximize revenue. We cover everything from site structure, SEO, PPC, Metasearch, email, analytics, testing and so on. However, we have glaringly missed one of the cornerstones of any marketing effort – making sure the creative design and message you put forth matches your brand and ensuring that message is consistent across all your channels.
Sure, we have discussed design, but we haven’t delved too deeply into the creative process or product. That’s an error we’re correcting today with our guest Nick McNeill, Interactive Director at the Brandon Agency. Nick will be walking us through why creative matters and how your investment in creative can lead to greater occupancy & revenue. Learn more about the Brandon Agency at https://thebrandonagency.com/ or follow them on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/company/the-brandon-agency.
Great creative is an investment
Hotels have too often seen themselves as a “means to an end.” IE, I am visiting Orlando and need a place to stay. This is often true, however someone visiting Orlando has a lot of options. Great creative assets, and great messaging in general, allow your property to stand out from the competition.
Investing in great creative doesn’t necessarily equal great revenue, but it is the message you will be using in your paid and organic efforts. This investment converts your media assets into conversion tools:
- A property video panning your amenities can become a video that creates ambience and spurs desire.
- A room photo of a lifeless room can become a window into a private oasis of relaxation.
- A “book now and save 30%” email can become an exclusive invitation to reward yourself that can’t be forgotten.
- A paid text ad that promotes an on-site pool can become a trigger to dip your toes into a tranquil water wonderland.
- Website copy can be transformed from a bland introduction into something amazing that drives guests to “have” to stay at your property.
Great creative turns mediocre campaigns into winners
Display campaigns, organic and paid social campaigns, retargeting, emails, and even your meta presences require great creative to truly perform. A perfect example of this is landing page development. Yes, you can simply build out a form on a site for a paid campaign landing page, but our testing has proven time and time again that the better the design the better the return.
Great creative leads to a better user experience
User experience is all based on creative to some level. From the visual side to the positioning of calls to action, great creative can help make it easier for a user to start their journey down the conversion path.
The creative every hotel needs
Now that we can see why hoteliers should factor in creative development into their marketing budget, let’s look at the specific creative resources you’ll want to have in your marketing toolbox:
- Brand Book with your creative guidelines
- Amazing photography and videography
- Display banner/content templates
- Social templates
- Website templates
- Email templates
- An ongoing audit of your creative
CEOs See Group Travel Return in 2022
- Hilton: “ We continue to expect meaningful acceleration in group business in the back half of the year as underlying group demand remains strong. Compared to 2019, our tentative booking revenue was up more than 25%.”
- RJL Lodging Trust: “The recovery during the year was driven by the continuation of robust leisure demand, which is well documented and at levels exceeding 2019 in many resort markets. Just as important, there was clear evidence of an acceleration of recovery in both group and business transient demand as business travel volume increased, and in many cases, in advance of returning to corporate offices. This trend was particularly noticeable with respect to small- and medium-sized companies.”
- MGM Resorts: “Despite the tougher January, we’re happy to see COVID cases again on the downswing across the broader U.S. Cancellations are declining and group lead volumes are normalizing. Forward hotel [bookings have] been stable over the past few weeks and are once again starting to outpace 2019 levels.”
60 Seconds To Success:
Create an amazing contact/FAQ page. From a creative standpoint, hotels have largely missed the boat on this. We suggest you take a look at what the top e-commerce sites have created as an example.